It seems like Mike Pence has lost favor with some conservative activists these days. And that’s a shame. Even Trump seems to be done with Pence. Earlier this month, he revealed that he would consider a different running mate if he decides to run for president again in 2024.
On Friday, Pence addressed the Faith & Freedom Coalition summit and was heckled, with some calling him a “traitor.”
Pence gets drowned out by hecklers at the Faith & Freedom Coalition summit, some of whom appear to be chanting “traitor!” pic.twitter.com/pAQxavsK3O
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) June 18, 2021
While it sounded like the hecklers were a small portion of the crowd, it is still disappointing to hear Pence being called a traitor. This is shameful and conservatives should be better than this.
Obviously, the animosity toward Pence comes down to the perceived lack of loyalty to Trump for not overturning the results of the election when it came time to count the Electoral College votes—something he had absolutely zero constitutional authority to do.
Repeat after me: There was nothing Mike Pence could have done to stop the Electoral College votes from being counted.
Imagine for a moment it’s January 6, 2001, and Congress has convened to certify the Electoral College ballots submitted by the states, and then-Vice President Al Gore, who had lost the state of Florida, and thus the presidency, by a mere 537 votes, shows up. Sure, Al Gore had conceded a few weeks prior, but many voices in the Democratic Party had argued the election was stolen. What if Gore had assumed the authority to question the results of Florida and demanded another recount?
Mike Pence knows there were election irregularities and blatant violations of election law. But as Pence noted in March, “Under the Constitution, elections are governed at the state level. And each state is required to appoint presidential electors ‘in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.’ Many of the most troubling voting irregularities took place in states that set aside laws enacted by state legislatures in favor of sweeping changes ordered by governors, secretaries of state, and courts.”
Pence rightly knew that he had no “unilateral authority to decide presidential contests.” Trump, I’m sorry to say, was wrong. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe that the election was most likely stolen—heck, the left is certainly acting like it was—and reports out of Georgia and Arizona only strengthen my belief that Biden is not the legitimately elected president. But it was the state legislatures that had to act on this. They were gutless and, sadly, even if the various audits prove that Biden lost those states, there’s not much that can be done about it. As far as I’m concerned, there will always be an asterisk next to “President Joe Biden,” but I blame the gutless state legislatures, which allowed unilateral and illegal subversions of election law to go unchallenged and/or refused to investigate legitimate concerns about election integrity before it was too late.
“The election was lawless, six states allowed their delegates to vote by false certifications, but the [Electoral College] process happened,” explained Jenna Ellis, Trump’s former legal adviser. “The Constitution has only one process for removal of a sitting president: impeachment and conviction. The best thing we can do as constitutionalists moving forward is to ensure this utter disregard for states’ election laws never happens again,” Ellis continued. “That’s why election integrity is the number one issue facing America today.”
Mike Pence is not our enemy. He’s not a traitor. He wasn’t being disloyal to Trump. Pence ultimately acted the way we want and expect conservatives to act: loyal to the Constitution.
The aftermath of the 2020 election still stings, particularly as it becomes clearer that had audits of the results in battleground states with suspected fraud taken place, President Trump might still be in office today and we’d have been saved from the Biden Disaster that we’re enduring now. But, that’s no reason to punish Mike Pence.